As a member of the senior management team these nearly past 10 years – I have seen many resumes.
Some are outstanding and some are outdated.
Here are three ideas to keep your resume memorable.
1. Title: The title is always your name followed by your contact information. It’s obvious, right? You want to make sure the employer knows who you are and how to get a hold of you. But really --- make it into a marquis…after all you deserve “top billing”. I can’t tell you how many times candidates down played their name, almost as if embarrassed. You need to be your biggest fan. Be proud and self assured in your accomplishments. Your name – is a page turner. The size and font you choose says a lot about who you are. I’m partial to Times New Roman, font 18 – bold….but I am a little conservative.
2. Objective: The next line is your objective. This is a two to three sentence paragraph that specifically talks to the job you are going after. Too many times candidates make the mistake of writing a dreamy, utopian objective about an ideal job in media. What you need to do is be specific about the job you are applying for. For Example, if you are applying for a Newscast Line Producer opportunity – make sure that your objective speaks specifically about how your experience is the right fit. As a Newscast Line Producer you will be expected to have sound editorial experience, strong writing skills, manage an often stressful control room environment and have excellent communication/interpersonal skills (to name a few). If your objective does not speak to what they’re looking for….then you left the hiring manager on page two – when you want them to go to the meat of your book (resume)…the list of your accomplishments. Here’s a tip….use the “skills” section of the job description posted to help you write your specialized objective.
3. Experience: When you list your experience – be very concise, use examples and again be sure it speaks to the specifics of the job description. Each line should be exactly that….one line (and no more than 2 lines). You are writing to a hiring manager who understands the line of work you do…so you don’t need to go on and on about what your duties are as a Newscast Line Producer (to keep with the earlier example). What the employer is looking for are “real life” examples of your experience (which if you make it pass the screening process will be part of the conversation you will have). Again – the job description itself will help you write your experience. Think about what they are looking for and see if there are examples in your experience that are similar.
In the end, what I hope you take away is that your resume cannot be a “one size fits all” document. Your resume needs to change depending on what position you are going for. And if you are like me (a fortunate person who has a diverse background of experience)….don’t be afraid to go off the chronological order of your experience. I am someone who is very interesting in returning to cable news. My time with MSNBC was in 2010 and 1999. When I go for positions with cable news media companies – my time with MSNBC is what I place front and center on my resume.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
And as always – your feedback is welcomed and appreciated.